Recently the Alabama Attorney General issued a warning about an increase in scams involving extended car warranties.  However these scams are not limited to Alabama, but are being perpetrated around the country.  Most of these scams start with a phone call that your Caller ID shows is a local call although through a technique called “spoofing” the call is most likely coming from scammers who are far away.    If you answer the call you will be asked about the make,model and year of your car and then pressured to buy an extended warranty that you are told you will lose out on if you do not act immediately.

Extended warranty scams have been with us for years.  Actually, they are not “extended” warranties at all because if you read the fine print you will notice that although the notice you may receive, often by postcard, looks official,  it is not from either the car manufacturer who issued your original warranty or the car dealer who sold you the car.  The warranties themselves vary from scammer to scammer with some of the “extended” warranties being relatively worthless, but with all of them based on misrepresentations. In 2016 the FTC sent out more than four million dollars in refunds to  thousands of victims of an extended warranty scam perpetrated by Fereidoun “Fred” Khalilian and his company The Dolce Group Worldwide, LLC.  Using the name My Car Solutions, victims received robocalls luring them into paying for extended automobile warranties that, in truth, provided no coverage. In the case of Khalililian, his extended warranty scams were sold through illegal robocalls.  Whenever someone tries to sell you something through a robocall, you can be sure it is a scam.

If you are registered for the Do Not Call list and you do receive a call from a telemarketer, you can be confident that the call is a scam because no legitimate telemarketer would call you if you are enrolled in the Do Not Call list. It is also important to note that while telemarketing is not, in and of itself, illegal, telemarketing through robocalls is always illegal.

TIPS

In regard to car warranties, it is always a good idea to check with your dealer as to what warranties cover your car. Never trust anything that comes to you by way of an illegal robocall or telemarketing call if you have enrolled in the federal Do Not Call List.  Never feel pressured to act immediately when someone calls you on the phone with an unsolicited offer and never give any personal information including your credit card over the phone to someone who calls you because you can never be sure who is actually calling.

Registering for the Do Not Call List is easy and free.  Merely go to www.donotcall.gov to register your phone number.

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